Fortis Hospital

Amid the nationwide lockdown, while a number of citizens are working from their living room couches to the comfort of their beds, some are hooked on to their television or smartphone screens, inevitably turning themselves into couch potatoes. Extended idle time makes one not only consume an unhealthy range of foods but also puts them in a state of limited physical activity. Being physically active is of supreme importance in the current times; it not only aids in the overall well well-being of a person but also acts as a coping mechanism to deal with stress, Anxiety and other psychological constraints.

While watching a movie or simply relaxing, we tend to ignore our bodies. From the constant urge to lie down, apart from the possibility of weight gain or lethargy setting in, one may also develop muscle spasms, an uncomfortable feeling in the back as well as pain in certain joints. As unhealthy as it sounds, being a couch potato for over two weeks could further develop into an unhealthy daily and lifelong habit with severe consequences such as increased risk of Obesity,Heart Disease, etc.

A light workout for 45 minutes in the morning or evening is highly recommended to boost activity imbalance, regulate blood sugar levels as well as to increase blood flow to the body & the brain. During the day, it is important to alter your posture, walk around from time to time, or stretch your body every now and then! Here are some easy-to-do home workouts to stay fit, healthy and get you off the couch!Before you perform any form of exercise, it is important to warm up and stretch your body in moderation to avoid injuries.

1. Jumping Jacks: While standing with your legs placed together and your hands at the side slowly bend your knees and jump raising your hands in the air. As you set your hands high, spread your legs outward, in-line with your shoulders. Come back to the starting position and repeat 20 times.

2. Spot-High Knees: This is simply running in the same spot. A Cardio intensive form of exercise, if you are unable to perform at a fast pace, place your palms at your abdomen and lift each knee simultaneously touching your open palms. Perform for 2 mins.

3. Assisted Squats: Place a chair against a wall. In an upright position spread your legs out to shoulder width. As you bend your knees outward, hinge at your hips and move downward still your buttocks touch the chair. Return slowly to standing position. Perform 3 sets of 15 repetitions each.

4. Push-Up/Assisted Push-Ups: If you are unable to perform a full push-up, gently place your hand on the wall or on a table, shoulder width apart. Bend your shoulders to a 90 degree angle and lower your body. As your elbows aligns at the shoulder level, push back to starting position. Perform 3 sets of 15 repetitions each.

5. Glute Bridge: Lie flat on your back. Pull your knees back to 90 degrees with your feet flat on the ground and your legs parallel to the shoulders. Press through heels and elevate your hips faced to the ceiling. Squeeze your glutes at the top and slowly lower yourself to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for a set of 3.

6. Bird Dog: Place your hands and knees on the ground. With your back and neck aligned straight, extend the left hand forward along with your right leg behind you. Hold the stretch for 5 second and return to the stationary position. Repeat 10 times and then alternate the arm and leg.

You may switch up your exercise routine as per your convenience. Yoga, other light body weight exercises, home Pilates are other options may be considered. It is also important to keep yourself well hydrated before, during and after your workouts.

(Inputs by Dr Raghavendra KS, consultant, Joint Replacement & Spine Surgeon, Fortis Hospital, Kalyan & Mulund)

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